THINK.Cloud For Digital Government: 'Anyone Interested In Cloud Should Be There'

Feb 17, 2016

Next month sees the fifth annual 'THINK.Cloud For Government' - only this year, it's being called Digital Government. We asked Matt Stanley, Marketing Director at the company behind the show and its upcoming sister events, to understand why

Hi Matt, thanks for agreeing to talk to 24n. Tell us about your company and your approach to public sector IT events, please?

We are very much about getting the best speakers in place and getting the best case studies for people to digest. We hope to get unique stuff that they haven’t seen or heard of before. We benefit from the fact that we work really closely with the Government Digital Service and the Crown Commercial Service to put these events on, and make sure that the content is what the local and central government executives are really looking for at this stage in terms of G-Cloud.

So how do you do that?

We run around three to five annual events that we run at various times throughout the year, most of which are centred around a delegate audience made up of public sector IT decision-makers and procurement heads and heads of technology. These consist of a main conference, with a stream of content throughout the day, perhaps few seminar offshoots where people can break off and go into different areas, but, effectively, it is mostly content on one big stage throughout the day. So there are panel discussions, we have a popular stream of one-to-one fireside chats with top journalists, occasionally there is a presentation thrown in, but as a rule we try and steer clear of those on the whole so that we can keep the audience regularly engaged. We don't have any slot over half an hour to keep people's time best used at peak efficiency.

We also have exhibitions on the side, where we get up to about 30-35 of the best public sector suppliers there to meet with buyers in the audience. That mens at any THINK event, you have the buy-side and the supply-side meeting and networking, probably for a couple of hours across the day at various points. That tends to work quite well.

Sounds great. So what's happening of interest this year at THINK.Cloud For Digital Government?

This year, for that, which is our flagship event, we're doing something new - speed dating! We're quite excited about it; for an hour, we have 10-12 suppliers who've got the chance to do five very focused presentations to around 20-25 delegates. It’s a little bit more than an elevator pitch, but it is really quite quick – ‘These are our products, this is what we do, if you’re interested come and see us on the stand’.

We’re going to try that this year and see if that works, as I think it’s got the possibility of pulling out some quite interesting business for some of the suppliers that are there - and I think, genuinely, some of the buyers.

But the bigger point is that the event next month has some really good speakers engaged and will a good day in terms of  the content - in terms of the agenda, we've really got some good sessions for 24n. readers. A highligh there is our live case studies - we call it 'practical cloud - where we will get someone from the buy side, leaders from high up within central government, talking about where they are on their cloud journey, how it has been for them so far, and what they are expecting out of the next 12 months.

That's real life stuff that delegates themselves can take quite a bit away from. So that is one area that we have really tried to home in on.

Yes, but's let's really net it out for our readers, please, Matt. Why should a busy public sector ICT professional go to this event? What’s in it for them?

There are lots of events out there that do bits of what we do... but they don't concentrate and bring everything under one roof like we do. We've got great speakers, great content and we have the ability for you to mix and network with 300 buyers in one room, and there'll be over 100 public sector agencies in one place in the QE II Centre that day. So networking with their peers and also with the suppliers that of the services is kind of unique at the moment, I think.

But really, if you're involved in the purchasing process and the creation of the infrastructure for IT in public sector - whether that is local or central government or the wider public sector - you genuinely will learn something useful on March 22nd. So anyone through from the CIO to technical people through to the procurement heads, category managers, project managers - anyone who reads 24n, in other words - are the people that should be there. 

Thanks, Matt, sounds interesting! Good luck with the show.

24n.biz is a media supporter of THINK.Cloud For Digital Government, which is free to attend for qualified public sector professionals - go here to find out more on how to secure your place on March 22nd at The QE II centre in Westminster

(c) 2016 24n.biz

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